The Newspaper of the Science Fiction Field
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A R T H
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The Midden and the River
(from the April 1997 issue -- Order)
Photo by Charles N. Brown
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Garth Nix grew up in Australia and published his first novel, The Ragwitch, there (Pan Australia 1990, Tor 1995). He worked as editor for HarperCollins Australia for three years, then published his second novel, Sabriel, in 1995; it won Australia's Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novel in 1996. Nix now works on information tech relations with two partners, in their own business -- he still isn't quite ready to make the leap into full-time writing.
"...I tell people -- 'I had to become a fantasy writer, because my mother was reading Lord of the Rings when she was pregnant with me, so I absorbed in embryo, as it were!' ...I don't quite set out to write children's fantasy or adult fantasy. I write for myself: the audience is me. For Sabriel, it was pretty much a publisher's marketing decision to call it young-adult..."
"...I went on a long trip, overland from London through to Pakistan, through the Middle East, visiting Syria, Jordan, Turkey, Iran. I've always had a great love of history. That trip was basically retracing the Silk Route, which silk used to take from China to the West, and it was also sort of retracing Alexander the Great's footsteps. It's a fascinating area. So much has happened. When I did this trip, I was writing Sabriel. I write longhand first, in little red notebooks, and the benefit of that is, you can sit on the wall of a Crusader castle in Syria and write a chapter..."
"...My new book that will be out next year, Shade's Children, is more science fiction. It's very urban, though it does progress slightly into the rural towards the end. The book deals with information technology to a degree. It's really science fantasy, I guess -- there's not a lot of science to the fiction. It has a fantasy feel, put into a framework of the near future. It's a different sort of fantasy. It doesn't deal with a lot of nanotech or the current trend for genetic engineering, but the story I wanted to tell had to be in the near future. Visually, the book would be fantasy within the confines of a contemporary world..."